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Fighting Human Trafficking Requires Absolutes

In his book Visions of Vocation, Christian author and thinker Stephen Garber tells the story of meeting a woman who directed the Protection Project, an initiative under Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government that addresses human trafficking. Garber asked her, "So why do you care about the issue of human trafficking?"

She told the story of her heart opening to the cries of women and girls who were sold into slavery, often involving sexual bondage. After writing on the issue, the Kennedy School hired her to work at their Protection Project initiative in Washington D.C. Then Garber describes what happened next:

As we talked in her office, I watched her staff walking by in the hallway outside her door, and their serious and eager faces impressed me. She eventually said, "I get the most interesting applications here. Just imagine. Harvard University, Washington, D.C., human rights. It's a powerful combination, and it draws unusually gifted young women and men from the best universities in America."
But then she surprised me with these words, "After a few weeks they almost always find their way down the hall, knock on my door and ask to talk. Now, I know what they are going to say. After thanking me for the position and the opportunity, a bit awkwardly they ask, 'But who are we to say that trafficking is wrong in Pakistan? Isn't it a bit parochial for us to think that we know what is best for other people? Why is what is wrong for us wrong for them?' To be honest, I just don't have time for that question anymore. The issues we address are too real, they matter too much. I need more students like the one you sent me, because I need people who believe that there is basic right and wrong in the universe!"

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